Procurement: Russia Receives New Combat Aircraft


December 21, 2005: The Russian Air Force has taken delivery of eleven Su-27B fighters. A refurbished Tu-160 heavy bomber (roughly equivalent to the U.S. B-1B) is being tested and will be delivered in a few months. The Su-27B is a recent upgrade that is roughly equivalent to late model F-15s. One distinguishing characteristic of the Su-27 family of aircraft is their exceptional maneuverability. Coupled with Russians AA-11 Archer heat seeking missile, and helmet mounted sight, the Su-27 is considered, in the hands of a skilled pilot, to be the most lethal dogfighting aircraft on the planet. Fortunately, U.S. aircraft now are equipped for long range engagements, using AMRAAM missiles and powerful radars. Another advantage American aircraft have is that their pilots are allowed enough time in the air to be come good with their weapons. Russia is only now increasing flying time for their pilots, who for years got very little time in the air.


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